Dear Friends and Colleagues,
At this moment it is clear that there is a great amount of need throughout our country. As development professionals, we are tasked with finding the resources that can address these needs and support those in our congregations, communities, and beyond. We lean on our endowments, we look to our major donors, and we count on annual giving to provide the necessary financial support. I want to encourage you to open your eyes to the many other resources we have available to our organizations; specifically grant funding opportunities.
Speaking to colleagues throughout the UCC as well as our ecumenical partners, I have heard that grant funding is often overlooked as a means of support for a variety of reasons: A lack of experience writing grant proposals, a belief that there are a limited number of grants available to religious organizations, and simply not having enough time to write a proposal. However, I am here to encourage you to invest the time to complete at least one grant proposal this year. In addition to the possibility of securing funding, this will give you the foundation you need for submitting subsequent proposals. It gets easier as you go.
To those of you who are in the “no experience” camp, I understand. I interviewed for my current position and was asked to talk about my background in grant writing. Well, I had none. However, I shared that I was willing to listen and learn from program staff. That is just what I did when submitting my first ever grant proposal which resulted in funding for five years of programming to support our clergy. If I can do it, you can!
We are blessed to have a variety of grant opportunities available through the United Church of Christ. From Ministry Education Scholarships to Leadership Development Scholarships to Program Grants. Application forms open in December so you are in good position to start thinking about what grants may align with the work of your organization. Please visit https://www.ucc.org/giving/ways-we-give/scholarships-grants/ for more information.
In closing, I would like to share with you some great work being done through grant funding offered by the United Church of Christ. On June 1st 2020, the national officers freed up $2.6 million for pandemic relief to churches and Conferences — $1.5 million in loans and another $1.1 million in micro grants. Of the eight conferences that applied for funding, two chose to use the grant money to support clergy: https://www.ucc.org/ucc_conference_recovery_grant_helps_support_clergy_mental_health_during_pandemic/
Yours in Faith,
Director of Individual and External Donor Relations
Southern New England Conference, UCC
Generous Thoughts is a collaborative effort of UCC stewardship, generosity, fundraising, and development professionals to provide our conferences and congregations with information to aid them in their fundraising efforts. The SNEUCC is represented ...